Jeb Bush Dodged “Blame Bush” in Parent Trigger Defeat

High Desert Daily Press reporter Natashia Lindstrom is likely to be the journalist who has been closest to the pitched parent trigger battle in Adelanto, California . Lindstrom has this update:

ADELANTO • As the deadline nears for Adelanto School District to verify a “Parent Trigger” petition, the parent union pushing for a dramatic overhaul of Desert Trails Elementary is pitching an alternative to reopening the school as an independent charter.

The preferred option, presented to the district board at Tuesday night’s meeting, would be to reorganize the school around what Desert Trails Parent Union supporters are calling a “partnership” model.

The proposed partnership school would be run by a nonprofit organization selected by the parent union, but the organization’s members would include district officials and teachers — and ideally all current Desert Trails employees could stay at the site under the district’s employment, according to Patrick DeTemple, organizing director for Parent Revolution, the Los Angeles-based group that has been supporting the parent union.

“It is a combination, in our opinion, that cannot be beat,” DeTemple told the board.

Perhaps Parent Revolution so badly needs a victory and  that it’s trying to seem reasonable by just pitching what the parents who they represented were asking for in the first place. This from the Washington Post on March 5th:

In Adelanto, the 666 children who attend Desert Trails are mostly black and Latino, and nearly all meet the federal definition of poor. The school lacks a full-time nurse, a guidance counselor and a psychologist. About one in four students was suspended last year, nearly twice the district average. Desert Trails has had three principals in the past five years

The parents want preschool classes, a longer school day, a computer lab, every teacher to have a master’s degree, a full-time librarian and clean, working restrooms, among other things.

The district can’t afford those demands, said Superintendent Darin Brawley, adding that state education funding is down 20 percent this year. “There’s no way we could do all those things at Desert Trails without making cuts elsewhere, from other students in the district,” he said.

Parent Revolution knows the Desert Trails school district are unable to grant even these narrow wishes to the detriment of the rest of their schools – no public school district can.  The only thing left – what they want anyhow – is for a charter school takeover. Then what?

The whole episode continues to confirm that parent trigger brings chaos to communities. Even some of the most vigorous school choice advocates realize that. While the Adelanto example is the poster child for reasons not to want parent trigger, it’s most powerful advocates like Jeb Bush  remain shielded from having to address it directly.

It’s hard to imagine what countless Florida neighborhoods channeling Adelanto would have been like if parent trigger had passed. But a handful of mothers and a few principled republican senators saved Bush from hearing “Blame Bush” in the event dozens of Adelantos had erupted all at once across the state.


About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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